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Montevideo, October 3rd 2023 - 04:59 UTC



Former concentration camp secretary given 2-year suspended sentence

Wednesday, December 21st 2022 - 08:54 UTC
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Furchner, now 97, was 18 when she worked for the camp's SS commandant Paul-Werner Hoppe Furchner, now 97, was 18 when she worked for the camp's SS commandant Paul-Werner Hoppe

A former secretary at a nazi concentration camp in Poland where at least 10,505 people were murdered during World War II was handed down a two-year suspended sentence Tuesday by the Itzehoe state court in Schleswig-Holstein state Tuesday for her involvement in the crimes.

 The 97-year-old Irmgard Furchner, who was 18 at the time of the events, 97, was found guilty of assisting in the murders of 10,505 inmates at the Stutthof concentration camp, located in modern-day Poland, in addition to five other attempted murders.

Dubbed the “secretary of evil”, Furchner worked for the camp's SS commandant Paul-Werner Hoppe. Her lenient sentence was passed according to juvenile law due to her age at the time of her crimes.

Furchner “aided and abetted those in charge of the camp in the systematic killing of those imprisoned there between June 1943 and April 1945 in her function as a stenographer and typist in the camp commandant's office,” the prosecution argued. The defendant refused to answer questions during the trial, but apologized in her closing statement and said she regretted her time at the camp.

“It was impossible not to know what happened,” Stutthof survivor Manfred Goldberg said. “There were bodies being carted openly through the camp.”

Stutthof was built following the German invasion in 1939 to imprison Polish leaders and intellectuals. Around 110,000 captives were held at the camp before its liberation by Soviet troops in 1945. Of those, 24,500 were transferred elsewhere and between 63,000 and 65,000 were killed or died of mistreatment including starvation, slave labor, and lack of medical care. Some 28,000 of the victims were Jews, but prisoners came from 28 European countries and included communists, Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and Latvian resistance guerrillas, and psychiatric patients. Trials of officers at the camp were held in Poland in 1946 and 1947. Of the 101 accused, 99 were convicted and 21 were sentenced to death.

Categories: Politics, International.

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